The action led by Rahul Kadakia, director of the international jewelry division at Christie's, took place in Geneve and was considered a huge success. The gold bracelets, each with one hundred diamonds, were sold at a price that exceeded the estimates of specialists several times.
According to Reuters, Rahul Kadakia revealed to participants gathered in the auction room in Geneva that these bracelets remained in the family of the last queen of France for almost 200 years. Their buyer bid by phone and his identity was not disclosed.
A spokeswoman for the auction house announced that the sale price was 6.2 million Swiss francs, but after adding taxes and commissions the final price was 7.46 million Swiss francs ($ 8.1 million).
The two gold bracelets were placed in a delicate blue velvet box that had the message "Queen Marie-Antoinette's bracelets" written on it.
Marie-Antoinette's Diamond Bracelets Are Unique
Marie-Antoinette's bracelets are each made up of three rows of diamonds and totaling 112 jewels. The two bracelets can also be assembled to be worn as a necklace.
A jewelry specialist at Christie's preciously told AFP that these diamonds are extraordinary not only because of their origin but also because they contain: 112 old diamonds. Their size ranges from about a carat for the smallest to over four carats for the largest diamonds in the middle
The auction house estimated that the diamonds on the gold bracelets could weigh a total of 140 to 150 carats.
Experts expected the bracelets, which have since been owned by a European royal family, to reach a sale price of between $ 2 million and $ 4 million.
But these historical jewels are often sold far beyond the initial estimate. For example, in 2018, a diamond pendant that belonged to the same Maria-Antoinette, adorned with an exceptionally large natural pearl, was sold at Sotheby's, Geneva, for 36 million dollars, after being valued at between 1 and 2 million dollars.
The History of Marie-Antoinette's Diamond Bracelets
The bracelets were ordered from the jeweler Charles Auguste Boehmer in Paris in 1776 by Marie-Antoinette, who had become Queen of France two years earlier.
The total price of these bracelets was 250,000 pounds, which was a significant amount at the time. They were paid with precious stones.
Then came the French Revolution. If Marie-Antoinette was guillotined, her jewelry survived. Before attempting to flee France with Louis XVI and the children, Marie-Antoinette had sent the jewelry pieces to Brussels, from where they were then passed on to relatives in Austria, the queen's homeland.
Among the well-known jewelry pieces of the queen we see, alongside the famous pearl diamond pendant previously mentioned, a pair of earrings adorned with fine pearls and a pearl necklace, as well as a brooch adorned with yellow diamonds dating from the early eighteenth century.
Queen Marie-Antoinette also loved luxury watches, as evidenced by such a piece of pocket jewelry engraved with the initials "MA" and three lily flowers.
Arrested at Varennes, Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette were guillotined in 1793, and their son Louis XVII died in captivity.
The only survivor of the French Revolution, their daughter, Marie-Thérèse of France, was released in 1795. Upon her arrival in Vienna, the Emperor of Austria gave her mother's jewelry, which was carefully preserved.
Having no children, Marie-Thérèse of France bequeathed the jewelry to her niece, the Duchess of Parma.